One Open, One to Go!

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetThe seasonal Bellevue Farmers Market opened recently on May 18th, and Crossroads Farmers Market will open on June 6th!  Because of our unusually long rainy season this year in WA State (the longest on record in modern history), some of the farm vendors understandably had a delay with their crops. But our warm season is firmly underway now, as are abundant produce, herbs, and artisanal goods!

Recently, Seattle was rated 4th in the nation for being the most fit city. One of the reasons cited for this improvement was the increase in the number of farmers markets in our area: a positive indication that unprocessed, natural food can make a difference in one’s health.

If you would like to visit other farmers markets in other neighborhoods as well, here is a complete list of places and hours from The Seattle Times. The Bellevue Farmers Market is on Thursdays, from 3-7 pm through October 12th. The Crossroads Farmers Market is on Tuesdays, from 12 noon- 6 pm (except July 4th) until September 26thBon appetit!

REI moving to Bellevue

REI's Bellevue headquarters design proposal

REI’s Bellevue proposed headquarters design.  Photo: NBBJ

REI will be moving their headquarters from Kent, where they’ve been for 29 years, to a new site in Bellevue in the year 2020. They have submitted a design proposal for an 8-acre campus to the City of Bellevue, which would occupy 20% of the new Spring Hill district development. 36-acre Spring Hill, which will be located between the Bel-Red Road corridor and 520, east of downtown Bellevue, will have an alternative tech college (The Global Innovation Exchange), 300 apartments (which are already under construction), a brewpub, and a blend of street retail and other businesses in the process of being decided.

Springhill District proposed orientation.  Photo: www.thespringdistrict.com

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) sells specialized outdoor gear, is the nation’s largest consumer co-op, sponsors land & nature conservation causes, and also leads adventure classes and tours in the great outdoors. In keeping with this, REI works to meet green initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint in the world with their stores, distribution centers, and in this case, their actual headquarters. So the three new buildings (400,000 square feet total) will incorporate sustainable elements according to LEED energy and environmental guidelines set up for highly-effective green buildings. Salmon Safe criteria will also be considered to protect local watersheds. Some features will include outdoor meeting and community spaces, edible plants and native vegetation on the grounds, planning for optimal sunlight through windows, and other energy efficiency details.

REI's flagship store in downtown Seattle. Photo: Joe Mabel/WikiCommons

REI’s downtown Seattle flagship store, including indoor climbing rock on left.  Photo: Joe Mabel/WikiCommons

In a September 2016 memo, REI stated they had outgrown their current Kent headquarters and satellite offices, with over 1,400 employees. Some of the advantages cited for moving to Bellevue included access to a new Sound Transit light rail system that will be built right at Spring Hill in 2023. Also access to nearby nature and bikeways was an attractive idea, especially the multi-use, non-motorized Eastside Rail Corridor that will connect Renton to Woodinville, and other options being considered. Some pedestrian pathways will cut through the REI campus, which people in the surrounding community can use. It’s hoped that these considerations will be attractive to an increasingly mobile workforce.

REI"s Blue Oak Net Zero facility in Arizona. Photo: Business Wire

REI”s Net Zero Blue Oak Energy facility in Arizona.  Photo: Business Wire

Constructing highly efficient buildings is nothing new to REI. According to Business Wire, they recently achieved “Net Zero” status for their new distribution center in Arizona. This means that the solar panels installed produce 100% of their electricity per year, conserving energy. Which indicates good things to come for their future Bellevue headquarters.

Dress in your best fur-inery for Tuxes and Tails 2017!

Animal lovers, prepare yourselves for a glamorous night of elegant evening wear and furry friends at The Seattle Humane Society’s Annual Tuxes and Tails Gala!

Each year, Seattle Humane puts together a fabulous evening of fun and fund raising for the animals in need of homes at Seattle Humane. This annual event features a wonderful silent and live auction, delicious sit-own dinner and a star-studded runway show featuring celebrities and adorable, adoptable pets from Seattle Humane.

Tuxes and Tails brings together over 1,000 guests each spring for a lovey night devoted to helping the animals cared for at Seattle Humane. This wonderful event is made possible by over 200 hundred hard working and dedicated volunteers and the sponsorship of generous companies like Xtreme Consulting Group, Delta Airlines, Mud Bay and many more.

This year’s event is slated for Saturday May 13th and is looking to be one of the best yet, with opportunities to meet the Seattle Seahawks Michael Bennet, bid on exclusive items donated by many generous businesses and members of the community and enjoy an exquisite four-course meal while watching pretty people and pets work the runway at the ever-popular Celeb & Pet Runway Show.

Tickets have just become available and there are many options for you to be a part of this memorable night.  From the Seattle Humane website:

“General Event Tickets
Includes a four-course meal, silent and live auctions, and the popular celeb & pet runway show. Top Dog and Circle of Gold tables and tickets feature prime seating near all the action! Click here for tickets

General Tickets: $250
General Table of 10: $2,500

‘Tinis & Tails Cocktail Reception
These tickets include the silent auction and pre-dinner festivities only. 

Tickets: $125

Click here for tickets

Event tickets and tables go up April 1. All proceeds benefit the pets in our care. 

Special opportunity for add-on experience!

Meet Seahawk Michael Bennett at Tuxes & Tails for a special meet and greet. This unique experience includes:

  • Photo with Michael Bennett
  • Personalized autographed football
  • Access to private lounge for two with open bar between 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Limited availability. Tickets are $500*.

*This experience is available only as an add-on with the purchase of ‘Tinis & Tails, general event, Top Dog, or Circle of Gold tables and tickets.” 

 

Not able to join the festivities on May 13th? You can still be involved! Seattle Humane is still accepting sponsors and volunteers to be a part of this charitable extravaganza. Click here for more details on becoming a sponsor or volunteer. You can also be involved by donating items (or experiences) to be auctioned off, with proceeds going to benefit the animals.

 

The people at Seattle Humane work hard all year long to help animals in need, and to help you find your new four-legged friend. Tuxes and Tails is your chance to be a part of all the remarkable and compassionate work done by Seattle Humane, and to have a great time doing it.

 

Get your tickets or get involved now and be part of this magical event and feel good doing something good for our fur-iends in need!

 

 

Seattle Rents Rise, But East Side Is Pricier

It’s not a news flash that the real estate scene in Seattle has exploded in recent years. The Emerald City has gone from a town most people outside the state only associated with coffee and flannel, to the tech capital of the US (save for our friends in Silicon Valley). As home to some of the biggest tech names in the world and a booming job market to match, it’s fair to say there’s might not be enough housing to meet demand. Or, at least to meet demand AND your budget.

High rises, apartment buildings and condos are going up all over the city, and soon, our beloved skyline will be dotted with more and more buildings and towers, making the Seattle of just 10 years-ago look almost unfamiliar.

Seattle has recently made headlines as one of the most expensive places to live, get this, in the world. That’s right, recent data has placed Seattle’s rent rates at 5th highest in the nation and, supposedly 9th highest in the world! However, San Francisco and New York still dwarf us, tying for number one most expensive, world-wide.

Those of us who are Seattle Natives know that the average rental rate in Seattle has increased fairly dramatically in the last few years, but it’s interesting to note that, while Seattle’s rents have been on the rise, they don’t quite top the list of highest rents in the state.

According to recent data from Apartment List, Seattle ranks at number 5 in the state for highest rents, with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment at about $1,650.

Surprisingly, Mercer Island tops the list of cities in Washington for highest rents. A one-bedroom on Mercer Island goes for an average of a whopping $1,890 per month. No one said Island living was cheap, I suppose.

Filling in the gaps between number 1 and number 5 on the list are Bellevue at number 2 with an average of $1,860 per month for a one-bedroom (not a whole lot lower than their neighboring Island), Redmond at number 3 with an average of about $1,690 monthly rent for a one bedroom and Kirkland at number 4 with an average monthly rent of $1,660 for a one-bedroom.

Seattle and the Eastside are not the only places in Washington with rising rent rates. Tacoma tops the list nation-wide for fastest growing rent with a year-over-year growth rate of 7.7 percent. Seattle comes close, but not close enough to that figure with year-over-year rental rate growth at 5.3 percent.

Staggering growth aside, Tacoma is still a bargain in the rental market compared to Seattle, with a one-bedroom in Tacoma going for an average of $1,000 per month. For those of you keeping score, that’s a savings of $650 compared to Seattle.

But, proving that some things really don’t change, the cheapest places to live in the Evergreen State are still East of the Cascade Mountains. You can get a one-bedroom for only $600 per month in Walla Walla and it’s not much pricier in the State’s second largest city, Spokane, at around $630 per month.

What a difference a mountain range makes…

Have A Sweet And Sweaty Time At The 2017 Hot Chocolate Run

It’s almost time to lace up those running shoes and sign up for the annual Hot Chocolate 15/5k run! This year’s yummy and fun event kicks off on Sunday, March 5th at Seattle Center How’s that for a great way to spend the first Sunday-Funday of March, both for seasoned runners and first-timers who aren’t afraid of a challenge!

The fun begins bright and early at 6:45a.m. with the 5K and the 15k starts at 7:55a.m. Race participants can expect a fun, well organized and challenging race through the heart of beautiful Downtown Seattle (hills and all!), a fabulous SWAG bag of goodies to take home, of course, delicious chocolate. Talk about motivation to finish strong!

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Sunday while getting a great workout, consider signing up for this once-a-year event. The challenge is worth it to get to the Post Race Party where runners will enjoy music, a family friendly environment and a ‘finisher’s mug’ filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and delightfully dippable treats. Don’t count the calories, you will have more than earned this chocolate indulgence!

The Hot Chocolate Run isn’t just a great way to spend a day off. The Hot Chocolate Run is partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities, helping to provide a home-away-from-home for children and the families of children being treated at Seattle Children’s’ Hospital, at little to no cost to the families. A portion of the proceeds from signing up for this race will go to this outstanding cause, helping to make a real difference in our community.

Not into running or chocolate? That’s fine! But be aware, this race will take place in Downtown Seattle and along many main roads and thoroughfares, so you will want to plan ahead for any travel on that day. Take a look at the map (left) to see the route and read the chart below for a street closure timeline, to help you plan your day.

This event is great to do with friends, family or even by yourself. You’ll probably leave with new friends after a little friendly competition! This event brings together people from all over the city and state, so get out there, mix, mingle and help build a wonderful feeling of community in our fair city. Sprint into Springtime at this fabulous annual event, get a good sweat on and maybe even make some new friends….oh and eat chocolate! Do we really need to sell you on this?

For more info on this event, road closures, the post-race party and more, visit the Hot Chocolate Run website here.

Anticipated Road Closures:

Street Closure From To Side of Road Closure Time Anticipated Opening
2nd Ave Thomas St Broad St Whole Road 6:15AM 9:10AM
Broad St 2nd Ave Elliott Ave Westbound 6:15AM 9:15AM
Elliott Ave Broad St SR-99 NB On-Ramp SB One Lane 6:15AM 9:20AM
Elliott Ave SR-99 NB On-Ramp Western Ave Whole Road 6:20AM 9:20AM
Western Ave Elliott Ave Spring St Whole Road 6:20AM 9:40AM
SR-99 Bell St John St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
SR-99 Western Ave John St SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Aurora Ave Denny Way 45th St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
Aurora Ave 38th St Denny Way SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Harrison St Aurora Ave Dexter Ave Whole Road 6:25AM 11:15AM
Dexter Ave Harrison St Mercer St SB One Lane 6:25AM 11:15AM
Mercer St Dexter Ave 5th Ave East Bound Lanes 6:25AM 11:20AM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave SB Lanes 3:00AM 12:00PM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave NB Lanes 6:25AM 11:25AM

Nordstrom Rack Heads To Bellevue


Just in time for the holidays, we are gifted with the joyous news that Bellevue will be getting it’s very own Nordstrom Rack!

That’s right East-Siders, no more need to leave the limits of our biggest fine city to get Nordies quality at great prices. As of Fall 2017, all bargain-hunting Bellevueites will have affordable luxury just steps away, as part of the impending Lincoln Square expansion.

Lincoln Square is a part of The Bellevue Collection which also includes Bellevue Square and Bellevue Place. The expansion of Lincoln Square will add to what is already being called “The Bellevue Boom” of rapid growth in the city. The expansion will add 1.5 million square feet of restaurants, retail, office space, a 244-room W Hotel and 218 apartments, and of course, the new Nordies Rack.

Nordstrom is not only one of Seattle’s favorite department stores but also one of its oldest homegrown shopping institutions. Originally founded as a shoe store in 1901 by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin, the chain soon expanded its wares to include clothing, accessories and eventually high end home goods. Today, Nordstrom’s has 349 stores across 40 states (not counting Canada!) of which, 215 are Nordstrom Rack stores.

Bellevue fashionistas will gladly welcome the addition of another Rack location when it opens next year, just in time for the Christmas rush!bags

Bellevue To Get First Condo Project In Nearly A Decade

Over the last decade or so, Bellevue has really been coming up in the world. What was once known primarily as Seattle’s sister city on the East Side is rapidly becoming a full-fledged metropolis in its own right, and the skyline is expanding daily.
While apartments, office buildings and town-homes have been popping up all over the East Side for the last several years, there (surprisingly) has not been a condominium development in Bellevue in almost a decade.
With condo sales reaching new highs in the greater Seattle area of late, it’s surprising that Bellevue hasn’t seen any new condo complexes dotting its skyline, that is until plans for One88 were recently announced.

Bosa Development, the Vancouver B.C. based company and the folks behind Seattle’s already successful Insignia condo towers, has set their sights on Bellevue to build a 21-story condo development, dubbed One88.

One88 is slated to open in 2019 and will feature 143 condominiums. Units will range from 1-bedroom to penthouse units. The luxury condo project will break ground next year at Bellevue Way Northeast and Northeast Second Street, putting it in a prime location near Bellevue Square and Downtown Park.

The announcement of the One88 project is a big deal for Bellevue, as there has not been a new condo development in the city since 2008. After the housing market crashed, condo sales were severely down. So much so in fact that many condo developments were turned into apartments with developers finding renters easier to acquire than buyers.

But, times have changed. Condominiums sales have been on the rise in recent years all over the greater Seattle area. Home-buyers are turning their heads in this direction more and more as single family home prices continue to soar throughout the city, and nationwide as well. And while condos may prove to be a more affordable option there are not enough available to keep up with demand. You may remember the group of people camped out over night to buy condo units in a building that has yet to break ground. If that’s any indication, condo sales are poised to explode even further in the coming years.

One88 is touted as a luxury development which suggests that the units will be on the pricey side, and, as it is a Bosa Development project, is sure to have a host of outstanding amenities and a stylized aesthetic to boot.

Information about the project is limited at the moment, but more will become available as the project progresses. If you’re looking for your piece of the Bellevue skyline, stay tuned.

Find Your New Best Fur-iend This Weekend!

If you’re in the market for a new 4-legged friend, this weekend is the purr-fect time to find one!

The Seattle Humane Society is hosting their annual Adoption Blitz this weekend, October 15th and 16th, and there is no better time to welcome a furry new addition to your family!

This event happens only once a year and it’s your opportunity to meet your new pet, with all fees waived! All pets come spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and health checked, ready to join your family. If a pup-pal is what you’re looking for, all dogs are tested for their temperament and a rebate for behavioral courses is included with the adoption of most dogs.seattle-humane

Seattle Humane Society knows that adding a pet in to you family is a big deal and they are committed to making sure your family and your new pet are a good match by carefully vetting you prior to adoption as well.

This event is fun for both potential adopters and shelter staff and is always busy! If you’re interested in adopting, the Seattle Humane website is a great resource to use prior to the event itself. On the site, you can view available pets’ profiles before you meet them in-the-fur!

This event happens but once a year event, and is made possible by the generous black-cat-ad-dogscommunity members who donate money, food and supplies to help keep Seattle Humane alive and thriving. This is a great opportunity for adoptive families to save the money that would have been spent on adoption fees and use it instead to get the supplies needed to care for your pet, like food and water dishes, leashes, collars, beds and, of course, toys!

 

This weekend is a great opportunity for pet lovers all over the greater Seattle area. In addition to the Adoption Blitz, there are three more pet-centric events happening this weekend.

 

dogfestDogFest is a pup-a-polooza of sorts, celebrating pooches and their people at this fun, free event. Held at Marymoor Park, this event includes a 2-mile or half-mile walk, costume contest, fun games (musical chairs with dogs, anyone?), food (and dog treats, of course!), live music and dog training demonstrations.

Donations are welcome for this event and go to benefit the Canine Companions organization, a wonderful charity that provides trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities, free of charge.

 

If you’re interested in a little Cat-itude, head to Maple Valley for CAToberfest! There you’ll catoberestfind a silent auction, raffles,and cat themed gifts and activities. This feline-festival is hosted by South County Cats, a non-profit that offers affordable spay/neuter services, T-N-R (Trap-Neuter-Release)  services, fostering and adoption services, and seeks to reduce the euthanasia rates among cats in animal shelters.

This annual event is free, (though donations of food or cash are gladly accepted) and so much fun, they have expanded to a larger venue this year! CAToberfest is a great way to learn more about this amazing organization, contribute to it, grab kitty-swag for your own cats and celebrate the fabulousness of felines.

22nd-annual-seattle-reptile-expo-87

If you prefer your pets with scales, no legs, or more than 4 legs, head down to the Seattle Reptile Expo.  Held at the Washington State Fair Grounds in Puyallup, you’ll find plenty of lizards, snakes, amphibians and spiders (as well as tons of vendors related them) at this unique event. Admission is only $10, and kids get in free!

Is your child a fan of these creepy-crawly critters, but you’re not so much? Not to worry! All the animals at this event are bred in captivity, and no unsafe or venomous breeds are allowed, and you can peruse the selection of  related supplies, artwork, gems and minerals, plants that are  available for purchase.

No matter what breed or species of pet you’re interested in owning, or just learning more about, this weekend is an animal lovers dream, and a great time to get into giving to some great organizations!

 

Seattle Humane Adoption Blitz
Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15-16.
Cost: Free; carriers, leashes, collars required, not included, bring or buy at the shelter.
Location: Seattle Humane, 13212 S.E. Eastgate Way, Bellevue.
More info: 425-641-0080 orseattlehumane.org/events/adoption-blitz.

 

DogFest
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., check-in opens 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 15.
Cost: Free; suggested $125 walk fundraising goal.
Location: Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond.
More info: support.cci.org/site/TR?fr_id=1257 & pg=entry.

 

CAToberfest Celebration of Cats
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.
Cost: Free, cat food and cash donations appreciated.
Location: Rock Creek Elementary School, 25700 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Road, Maple Valley.
More info:sites.google.com/site/catoberfest2016.

 

Seattle Reptile Expo
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15-16.
Cost: Admission $10, ages 10 and younger free.
Location: Washington State Fair Events Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., Puyallup.
More info: 425-861-7964 or beanfarm.com/nwcbe/index.html.

The Bellevue Boom Continues With WeWork

It seems Bellevue is rapidly becoming the place to be!

Just last week we reported Amazon’s rumored plan to head across the lake to our fair city, but now, word has it another business giant is on the way, and this time it’s confirmed.

WeWork is a New York based company that provides shared work spaces for people all across the country, and boasts an impressive 70,000+ members. They came to Seattle initially in 2014 and already have 3 locations in town, with sights set to open a fourth. Now Bellevue is in the mix, making their Seattle area total a whopping 5 locations, in just 2 years.

WeWork has their sights set on 80,000 square feet of space at the Lincoln Square project for their new Bellevue home.

According to their website-

“In the newest premier tower downtown, you’ll find unparalleled Bellevue office space at WeWork Lincoln Square,” reads marketing material on WeWork’s Web site. “Enter through the contemporary, upscale lobby with fireplace, and discover our coworking space where high ceilings, natural finishes, outdoor terraces, and stunning mountain and lake views provide a refreshing work environment. With global gaming giant Valve in the building, Amazon right next door, and Microsoft in the neighborhood, your business is in good company.”

The news of WeWork’s coming to Bellevue along with the rumors of Amazon’s Eastward expansion and other fabulous companies like Salesforce.com and Valve having big presence’s in town means very good things for Bellevue, especially with Expedia planning on moving its Headquarters to Seattle a few years down the road.

If this trend continues, Bellevue is poised to become the next big hot spot in the PNW, but, we never really understood why it wasn’t in the first place.

 

 

 

Amazon (Possibly) Journeys Eastward

Bellevue Skyline and Lake Washington

Bellevue Skyline and Lake Washington

 

By now, everyone in Downtown Seattle has seen the construction of Amazons’ new headquarters in the South Lake Union neighborhood. With 11 buildings and interesting architecture to boot, it would be hard to miss. But the local tech powerhouse is thinking bigger and it seems, they’re thinking Bellevue may be in their future.

Rumor has it that Amazon has recently finalized negotiations and leased a whopping 354,000 square feet in the heart of Downtown Bellevue at the brand-spanking-new 425 Centre.

 

Amazon's new SLU HQ

Amazon’s new SLU HQ

Set at the corner of NE 4th St and 106th Ave NE, the 425 Centre makes a great location for a tech company that has broken from tech tradition by settling in heavily urban areas before. It seems Amazonia, as it is fondly referred to, and its inhabitants prefer being in the midst of the city’s hustle and bustle than the more remote areas other tech giants tend to call home.

 

While Amazon has not officially announced anything regarding the potential journey Eastward, this is not the first bout of rumors surrounding Bellevue and tech giants. Just a few months ago there was much talk of Apple possibly moving into (would you believe it) the 425 Centre.

 

425 Centre

425 Centre

Projects like the 425 Centre have been great for boosting Bellevue and its reputation. While often viewed as a (albeit, very large) suburb of Seattle, over the course of the last several years, it has grown considerably and undergone a rather impressive face-lift. Additions like renovations to Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and The Bravern have added considerable appeal to the city. Appeal which has not gone unnoticed by businesses and residents alike.  Much like it’s sister city across the lake, Bellevue has become home to a laundry list of high end retailers, restaurants and even cooperate mammoths such as T-Mobile (HQ), Expedia (HQ) and Microsoft, giving her a run for her money.

All in all, Amazon would (and likely will) make a fabulous addition to the Eastside. Bringing with it the fun, friendly and environmentally conscious attitude that Amazon prides itself on, as well as plenty of opportunity, both for jobs and for the city to receive a wealth of vibrant new residents.

Not to mention, Bellevue was Amazons’ very first home, when it was merely the brain child of it’s founder, Jeff Bezos. So, perhaps this would be more homecoming than journey.